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Dog walking ban is bone of contention for owners

A Dubai Municipality circular prohibiting 16 breeds of dogs from residential and public areas has caused concern among owners who fear their dogs may be confiscated.

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Dubai Municipality bans 16 breeds of dogs from residential and public areas.
Gulf News

Dubai: A Dubai Municipality circular prohibiting 16 breeds of dogs from residential and public areas has caused concern among owners who fear their dogs may be confiscated.

The municipality circular reads: "In order to protect the public from animal diseases, the presence of the following breeds of dogs is prohibited in residential areas, public places, markets and shopping centres from January 1, 2008.

"All pet owners are hereby requested to keep their dogs on a leash on streets and beaches and not to walk them without muzzles.

"Owners shall be responsible for any damage resulted from their non-compliance. Dubai Municipality will confiscate dogs if they cause harm or pose a threat to people, animals and property."

Dr Hesham Fahami, head of veterinary services at Dubai Municipality yesterday told Gulf News the circular has been issued keeping in mind public welfare.


"One of the main reasons for the circular to be brought out is to protect the public from animal-related diseases. The breeds that have been brought under question are the ones that are not suitable to be raised in apartments. They can pose a danger to children. We have acted on numerous complaints received from the general public."

K9 Friends yesterday said the circular was unclear and would appreciate it if more information was provided.

"What we would like to know is why those breeds are targeted. Does it mean they will be banned from being bred here," said Jackie Ratcliffe, chairwoman of K9 Friends.

"The circular surprised me. If dogs are living in a situation where dog fighting takes place or are not looked after properly any dog can turn bad. For example a Husky should not be brought into this country because the climate is unsuitable for them but they are not dangerous."

She said K9 Friends had been bombarded with calls from dog owners.

"People who have these dogs are worried somebody will come and confiscate them. We should understand that every dog is an individual."

Elizabeth Thomas a veterinarian said: "The majority of the breeds listed here are banned in most countries."

On the list:

American Staffordshire Terrier Loyal, intelligent, determined, tough, devoted; does well with children when socialised as a puppy; often does not do well with other pets.
American Pit Bull Terrier Courageous, loyal, full of energy; Should be socialised early on with children and other animals.
American Bull Dog A gentle, loving family companion who is fearless enough to face an angry bull or a human intruder; Good with children; Good with pets.
Bull Terrier Courageous; good with children when socialised; compatibility with other pets is questionable.
Old English Bull Dog Stable and trustworthy.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Reputation for being good with children; often aggressive towards other animals.
Tosa Will not snap or bite from fear or pain. However, due to the Tosa's size, he should not be left with children unsupervised.
Husky Friendly and gentle, but also alert and outgoing. His intelligence, tractability, and eager disposition make him an agreeable companion and willing worker.
Rottweiler A calm, confident and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships.
Doberman Energetic, watchful, determined, alert, fearless, loyal and obedient.
Shar Pei Regal, alert, intelligent, dignified, lordly, scowling, sober and snobbish, essentially independent and somewhat standoffish with strangers, but extreme in his devotion to his family.
Perro de presa mallorquin/Bull Dog Obedient if properly reared from puppyhood. Although it remains formidably powerful and alert, and retains the tenacity of its bull-baiting past.
Neapolitan Mastiff Not aggressive or apt to bite without reason. It is a super-loyal dog, good with children but should not be left unsupervised.
Argentinean Mastiff Does not usually provoke the confrontation. Not a breed for everyone. Breeders should work with prospective owners to match the dog with the household.
Miniature Bull Terrier Courageous, but even and amenable to discipline.
Canary dog fila brasilerio/ Brazilian Mastiff Loyal to its master. Territorial and will guard its property, aggressive towards strangers Not suitable for children.Have your say
Do you think this is fair? Has the population of dog owners risen enough in Dubai to warrant the need for a dog park? Tell us at or fill in the comments form below.

Your comments

It is a late step but a good one. Thanks DMC.
Posted: November 30, 2007, 13:40

I think it is a valid ban. I like dogs but they can be a menace and also spread diseases. Once, I and my family were suddenly attacked by two big dogs while we were walking the streets of France.
Posted: November 30, 2007, 12:54

For true dog lovers, dogs are a part of the family. The owners take care that the dogs don't pose a threat to public as they don't want their pets to be confiscated. Also, the muzzle rule is a bit cruel, particularly for very small dogs.
From Theda
Ras Al Khaimah
Posted: November 30, 2007, 12:51

This is a commendable move by the municipality. The breeds on the list are banned by most countries.
Posted: November 30, 2007, 11:45

Of course, it is fair. But if these pets are living with their owners, they should not be confiscated. Pet owners must understand that this is not a dog?s world. The dogs should be kept inside so people are not threatened by their presence.
Posted: November 30, 2007, 09:10

I am a dog lover but I will have to agree with the ban of certain breeds because I feel they are dangerous when put into the hands of irresponsible owners. A lot of the strays we see are abandoned by their owners when they get tired of their pets. These dogs, left on the streets to fend for themselves, pose a risk to children.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: November 30, 2007, 07:41

I am sure the municipality is taking these measures to protect the people. After all, you never know when docile pets can turn aggressive.
Posted: November 30, 2007, 06:00